Lago, Manzueta Lead Railroaders Past Explorers
CLEBURNE, Tex. (July 18, 2021) – The Cleburne Railroaders scored four times in the first two innings and held on the rest of the way, squeaking past the Sioux City Explorers 4-3 on Sunday night at The Depot at Cleburne Station.
With the win, the Railroaders (31-23) clinched a ninth straight series win and moved into sole possession of second place in the American Association South Division.
Jheyson Manzueta (4-1) picked up the win with his fifth quality start in six appearances, allowing three runs over 6.2 innings. He retired the first 11 hitters he faced, knocking off Sioux City for a second time in two starts. The Cleburne bullpen recorded the final seven outs, as Michael Krauza got the Railroaders through the eighth and Edward Cruz picked up the save by retiring the Explorers in order in the ninth.
The Railroaders offense put up four runs on seven hits in the first two innings to seize the early initiative. Osvaldo Martinez led off the first inning with a double and scored on an Alay Lago RBI single for a 1-0 lead. Cleburne scored three runs with two outs in the second. Tyler Ryan beat out an infield single, combined with a Sioux City throwing error, bringing in Hunter Clanin for a 2-0 advantage. Back-to-back triples from Martinez and Lago tacked on two more runs for a 4-0 Cleburne lead.
Sioux City (31-25) began the comeback in the top of the fourth on a two-out, two-strike solo home run from Jose Sermo that trimmed the lead to 4-1. The Explorers loaded the bases with nobody out in the fifth, but Manzueta escaped the jam thanks to some great work from the Cleburne defense. After a shallow fly ball to right field for the first out, Lago speared a hard line drive from Mitch Ghelfi and flipped back to second base for an inning-ending double play.
The Explorers pulled within 4-3 via a pair of seventh inning runs. Chris Clare reached on an infield single to plate Lane Milligan, then Ghelfi skied a two-out RBI double to cut the Railroaders lead to one. Krauza pitched around a leadoff walk in the eighth, and Cruz nailed down the win with a scoreless ninth.
Patrick Ledet (4-3) took the loss for Sioux City, allowing nine hits and four runs over six innings with seven strikeouts.
The Railroaders are off on Monday while they travel to Gary, Indiana for a three-game series against the Gary SouthShore RailCats. First pitch of Tuesday’s series opener is scheduled for 6:10 PM, with left-hander Michael Gunn (2-3, 4.96) getting the start for the Railroaders. The RailCats have not yet announced their starter.
For information on partnerships, season tickets, group outings, and party packages, call the Railroaders main office at (817) 945-8705, or visit the Railroaders official website at www.railroaderbaseball.com.
By Denning Gerig, Cleburne Railroaders